RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Wheat beer with bergamot and orange launched

Innis & Gunn has launched an oak-aged Weissbier – a German-style wheat beer infused with dried Bergamot peel and blood orange juice.

Over 300kg of bergamot oranges were hand-peeled by the brewing team at Innis & Gunn in the making of its first wheat beer and latest UK seasonal release: White Oak Wheat Beer (6.4%).  It took four days for the zest to be carefully removed from the 3,000 oranges, before being dried and infused into the brew, which is inspired by the German Kristallweizen style of wheat beer.

Rachel Sutherland, quality and sensory manager at Innis & Gunn in Scotland and bergamot-peeling doyenne, comments: “I’m not over-exaggerating when I say this was a challenge where blood, sweat and tears were shed…it smarts somewhat when you get orange juice even on a graze!  But we’re a very hands-on team and were all more than happy to get stuck in.

“There are a few different German and Belgian wheat beer styles out there,” she adds, “and it was very important to us that we stamp our own mark on this beer style.  German Kristallweizen appealed as they lack the yeasty and spicy complexity often associated with Hefeweizen beers, and have cleaner and more delicate flavours.  We were also inspired by Earl Grey tea and wanted to incorporate notes of bergamot and blood orange rather than the typical lemon notes that are found in many wheat beers.”

White Oak Wheat Beer was made using pale ale malt, malted wheat and lager malt with Super Styrian and Fuggle hops and was brewed at a warmer temperature to encourage sweeter, spicier flavours to develop.  The brew was then aged over bourbon-infused oak heartwood, that had been air-dried for 24 months and charred to create a natural barrier between the spirit and the heavy virgin vanilla flavour from the wood, in Innis & Gunn’s pioneering Oakerators.  Along with the dried bergamot peel, blood orange juice was added during the maturation process to create a fragrant and refreshing finish.

White Oak Wheat Beer is in Tesco stores nationwide at £2.50 for a 330ml bottle.

6 April 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor